Science Objectives and Significance to NASA/NOAA

TROPICS will provide
high-resolution sounding
within hurricane eyes

Super Typhoon Haiyan (Nov 6, 2013)
Imaging (90 GHz shown) and sounding
reveal precipitation structure and intensity

TROPICS will meet key PATH
requirements for temperature
and moisture sounding

VIS/IR observations are
blind to storm structure

TROPICS will provide 30-minute
median refresh rate at all
longitudes and +/-40° latitude


Science Objectives

  • Relate precipitation structure evolution, including diurnal cycle, to the evolution of the upper-level warm core and associated intensity changes
  • Relate the occurrence of intense precipitation cores (convective bursts) to storm intensity evolution
  • Relate retrieved environmental moisture measurements to coincident measures of storm structure (including size) and intensity
  • Assimilate microwave radiances and/or retrievals in mesoscale and global numerical weather prediction models to assess impacts on storm track and intensity

Significance to NASA/NOAA

  • Achieves first high-revisit microwave nearly global observations of precipitation, temperature, and humidity
  • Fulfills most of NASA PATH Earth Science Decadal Survey Studies mission objectives using a low-cost, easy-to-launch CubeSat constellation
  • Complements GPM, CYGNSS, and GOES-R missions with high refresh, near-all-weather measurements of precipitation and thermodynamic structure
  • Increases understanding of critical processes driving significant and rapid changes in storm structure/intensity